Maybe more than anyone I know, I am the beneficiary of incredible support and guidance and faith from the key people in my life. I guess it’s sort of my nature to be restlessly pushing at something new, and I think the courage to do that comes in large part from knowing that I have such a terrific network of people who will help me figure it out and who will do what they can to soften my landing if I fail. Thanks to all of you for that. We all need good, helpful, thoughtful people. (And all the better if a few of them really know how to have a laugh.)
MassChallenge requires participants to formally ask a few local leaders to mentor them during the competition. Team Vsnap’s mentors were Christopher Mirabile and Jeff Taylor. I’m really grateful to those guys for always digging in with me when I needed to, and for being on the look-out for people and events and articles that were relevant to Vsnap’s goal of giving people a more personal alternative to email to help engage and move customers and prospects.
Prior to MassChallenge, I’d never formally asked anyone to mentor me. But I have had a couple of guys who have really played that role in the last 5 or 6 years. Guys with tons of wisdom and really deep experience. And as I write this, it occurs to me that that’s not all you need for a really transformative mentor relationship. You also need trust. Because trust creates the space for everything else. Especially for your own vulnerability.
I have this image of an archaeological dig, where you’re persistently trying to unearth some piece of pottery or something. That’s what I find happens in the mentor relationship. Only we’re unearthing my weaknesses and our team’s weaknesses. It pays dividends, both profound and profoundly pragmatic. But it takes persistence. And trust.
By the way, when you get that deep mentor generosity and you also start to build that deep trust, well then it just starts to look like friendship. Which is awesome.
Here are two public thank yous to my good-friends-slash-great-mentors Mark Maloney and Frank Britt. I encourage everyone to thank your mentors, and I invite you to use Vsnap to do that. It’s free and easy, and I submit that it will let you make your thank you feel much more personal than anything you could do via email.
If you have any questions, we’re @Vsnap on Twitter or comment below!